empathy

When East Meets West

“So why did you decide to show your work in Berlin at Idrawalot?” I ask the petite ginger-haired Japanese artist who literally just landed in Berlin. “Uh…I…” Nozomi Miyazaki looks to her friend and Idrawalot gallery owner Karl Addison for help, but he remains engrossed in his work. Nozomi struggles for another moment then pulls out a sleek, silver electronic translator. 

Nozomi came to Berlin at the urging of her friend Karl Addison who will be showing her work Tuesday night at his gallery, Idrawalot in Neukölln in her own solo showroom exhibition. Nozomi plans to stay in Berlin for a week before returning to her native Japan to continue her work.

It is not uncommon for an artist’s life to imitate their work, or vice versa, but in the case of Tokyo artist, Nozomi, the connection is overwhelmingly apparent. Nozomi creates colorful acrylic portraits of western people, sometimes tackily dressed with references to western “consumer culture.” For Nozomi, who has lived the majority of her life in a predominately Asian society, coming to Europe is like entering into an entirely new world.

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

When the discussion turns toward her paintings, Nozomi is more comfortable communicating and opens up about the inspiration for her work. She likes to paint westerners because non-Asian facial features are unfamiliar and alluring to her. “Asian people always have black hair, black eyes, always the same,” she explained. “But western people they can be blonde, brunette, blue-eyed or green-eyed.”

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